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Voted #1 safari destination in the world, Tanzania is open and ready to welcome travelers to experience its abundant wildlife, rich cultural diversity, and untamed natural beauty. We’re the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), the leading agency for the tourism industry in Tanzania; a members-only non-profit representing over 300 licensed tour operators and DMCs that specialize in creating private, group, educational and tailor-made safaris. TATO members are the ultimate experts in all things Tanzania. Visit us at

This newsletter serves to provide the latest inspiration and planning guidance for an unforgettable escape to East Africa’s most captivating and incomparable travel destination. We’ll cover everything from how to explore Tanzania’s world-class safari circuits to ways to connect to its rich cultural diversity and so much more.
Click here to read our past editions.


Mahale National Park | Photo Credit: Ryan Al Bishri on Unsplash

Home to the biggest game reserves and national parks, the highest concentration of animals per square kilometer, and the largest diversity of wildlife, it is no wonder why Tanzania is regarded as the top safari destination in all of Africa. And while most visitors venture to Tanzania for its iconic “Big 5” game drives, the country offers another extraordinary wildlife experience that shouldn’t be overlooked: primate trekking safaris.
Unlike the more traditional forms of safaris, these active walking tours invite visitors to get on their feet and venture through the lush, forested homes of Tanzania’s protected primate species – including chimpanzees, baboons and colobus monkeys (to name a few!) – for the wildlife sightings of a lifetime.
Read on for everything you need to know about having an up-close-and personal experience with some of the animal kingdom’s most fascinating and beloved creatures.

Curious to see what makes Tanzania so special firsthand?
TATO's Tourism Reboot FAM Trip Program invites key members of the North American travel trade to immerse in Tanzania's world-class safari and other unmatched travel experiences. 

To learn more, please email
or visit
  • 2021: December 5-1
  • 2022: January 16-25
  • 2022: February 20-March 1
  • 2022: March 20-29
  • 2022: April 17-26
  • 2022: May 15-24
  • 2022: September 18-27
  • 2022: October 16-25
  • 2022: November 20-29
  • 2022: December 4-13
For a deeper dive into TATO's FAM Trip program, check out our recent webinar.
Gombe National Park | Photo Credit: Tanzania Tourist Board
Where to Go 
Tanzania’s primate population is largely concentrated in western Tanzania, one of the most remote, untouched and least visited parts of the country. Herein lie two protected areas known for harboring the largest populations of chimpanzees and other primates: Mahale National Park and Gombe Stream National Park. However, the adventure doesn’t need to end there. See below for an overview of all top primate trekking safari destinations in Tanzania:
  • Mahale National Park: Located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world, Mahale is famous for its thriving population of wild and habituated chimpanzees (around 1,000 are estimated to reside in its stunning lowland woodlands) and for being the only park where chimpanzees and lions exist side-by-side. 
  • Gombe Stream National Park: The smallest of all of Tanzania’s national parks, Gombe is most famously known as the location where Jane Goodall pioneered her behavioral research on endangered chimpanzees. Situated on the wild shores of Lake Tanganyika and accessible only by boat, its main attraction is the chimpanzees and other primate species that live in the park’s protected boundaries.
  • Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park: A 20-mile drive past Stone Town, along the road to Paje will take you to Zanzibar’s first and only national park, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. Although best known for sheltering the rare red colobus monkey, the area is also a haven for other fascinating wildlife and unique flora and fauna, making it particularly desirable for nature lovers and hikers.
  • Udzungwa Mountains National Park: Although not regarded as a traditional game viewing destination, Udzungwa National Park – part of the Eastern Arc Mountains and often referred to as the ‘African Galapagos’ – supports some of the most ancient and diverse biological communities on the continent. It is best known for being home to twelve primate species, including two of which, the Sanje mangabey and the Iringa red colobus, can be found nowhere else in the world. 
  • Arusha National Park: A great option for those who want to experience Tanzania’s famous northern safari circuit and also see various primates up-close, Arusha National Park is the only place in northern Tanzania where the energetic black-and-white colobus monkey can be easily spotted on the foot-slopes of the mighty Mount Meru. Baboons and vervet monkeys are also frequently observed in this multi-faceted park often overlooked by safari-goers.
Photo Locations & Credits (clockwise from top left): Mahale National Park by Chris Thomas; Udzungwa Mountains National Park by Sylvere Corre; Gombe Stream National Park by Arup Shah; and Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park by Patrick Mueller
What to Expect
Most treks take place during the early morning and start with meeting your park guide and getting briefed on the day’s adventures. Treks can take last anywhere from 30 minutes to three-plus hours depending on where the chimpanzees are spending their day. Nevertheless, having to “work” a little extra to see them only adds to the adventure and reward, and provides more time to see other spectacular wildlife along the way.  Once your chimpanzee family has been located, you will be able to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat, learning all about their behaviors and seeing their daily activities such as feeding or hunting in action. Your limited time together is done to preserve a healthy environment for the chimpanzees. 

Gombe Stream National Park | Photo Credit: GANP
When to Visit
Although chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania can be done any time of year, the best time is during the dry season months of June to October. As this is a period of very little rainfall, it makes the trekking trails less muddy and slippery and therefore easier for visitors to navigate. 

Udzungwa Mountains National Park | Photo Credit: TripAdvisor
Where to Stay
There are a number of different accommodations to consider during your chimpanzee trekking safari that range from luxury to mid-range to budget. Get in touch with our team to receive tailored recommendations based on your unique needs and preferences.

Photo Credit: Greystroke Mahale
Need help planning your unforgettable primate trekking adventure in Tanzania? Click HERE to connect to a verified TATO member today.
If you want to learn more about Tanzania or TATO, please drop us a note at We would be happy to tell you more about our beautiful destination and the multitude of ways to experience it through our vast network of expert travel providers. You can also click HERE to connect to a verified TATO member today.

And there’s no need to wait! Tanzania is open and ready for visitors to experience its unforgettable wonders. For the latest travel updates and entry requirements, please visit Additionally, many destinations throughout Tanzania, including Zanzibar and the Mainland, are offering pre-registration for COVID-19 testing.
Copyright © 2021 Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), All rights reserved.

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